The experts say you have to have annual income of over $130,000 to have a fiscally healthy Episcopal parish. That’s without having to pay rent or a building loan. That’s 65 members each pledging an average of $2,000. Of course St Benedict’s also needs to find an additional $48,000 each year to pay for the building.
From that perspective the challenge of making St Bens financially viable seems daunting and even impossible. But I don’t think that’s the way God does math. I think of the widow whose oil and flour never ran out, I think of the feeding of the 5,000, I think of the net filled to breaking with fish. If God is indeed the Creator of the Universe then God has everything we need, including the money to make this church grow and flourish.
But perhaps that’s the point. We think we need money to make the church grow and flourish but God thinks we need… Money follows service, service follows gratefulness, gratefulness comes from a heart overflowing with God’s love, and that comes from seeking God with everything we have.
So let’s turn this all around. God is calling us, St Benedict’s, (which means individuals as well as the church corporately) to a whole new level of discipleship. ‘Seek ye first the kindom of heaven and God’s righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.’ That’s what it’s going to take. It’s going to take us getting serious about spiritual practice. It’s going to take us being ready to be transformed, renewed, changed, filled with the Spirit.
God always honors willingness so please join with me in praying, ‘God, I am willing to have my life transformed. I am willing to deepen my walk with you. Please show me how, and please show St Benedict’s how we together can put your kindom first.’ Amen.